Performance Testing – How to Do It and What Tools to Use

Performance testing is the process of determining the response time, reliability, resource usage, scalability, speed, and stability of a software application while undergoing a specific workload. It can identify and remove the performance bottlenecks in the app using an automated performance testing tool.

Moreover, performance testing helps discover what to improve before your software goes to the market. That way, your product won’t suffer from inconsistencies across operating systems and poor usability.

Applications with poor performance testing metrics are most likely to fail in meeting expected sales goals. It can also gain a bad reputation. That is why performance testing is a must before sending an app or software to the market.

Read further to learn how load tests are done, along with the best performance testing tools to use.

How to Do Performance Testing

Performance testing processes may vary, but the main objective of doing so remains the same. Below is the generic performance testing process:

Step 1: Determine your testing environment

Identify your production environment, physical test environment, and the testing tools you intend to use. You should also know and understand the details of the software, hardware, and network configurations used during testing so you can create more efficient tests.

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Step 2: Set performance acceptance criteria

The performance acceptance criteria include goals and limitations, resource allocation, and response time. To help you set excellent performance goals, consider searching for a similar application and make a comparison.

Step 3: Plan the performance tests

Figure out how usage may vary among end-users. Determine key scenarios to test for potential use cases. Simulate various end-users and identify the metrics that must be gathered.

Step 4: Configure the test environment

Before you do load testing, make sure to prepare the testing environment. This involves arranging the tools and other resources.

Step 5: Execute the test design and run the tests

Develop the performance tests based on the test design you made earlier. After which, run and monitor the tests.

Step 6: Analyze, fine-tune and retest

Consolidate, scrutinize, and share the results you obtained from the performance test. After that, fine-tune and do a retest to check if there is a significant improvement or decrease in the product’s performance.

Generally, improvements grow smaller with every retest you do. But if the bottleneck is due to the CPU, stop testing. Instead, increase the CPU power.

What Performance Test Tools to Use

Today, there are a number of performance testing tools in the market. Choosing the right tool will depend on several factors. These include the cost of the license, types of the protocol supported and platform support.

Here are some of the commonly used load testing tools:

Gatling

Gatling allows you to perform load simulations of concurrent users vs. the system through JDBC, JMS, or HTTP/S protocols. It is best used for simulating web users of a system to pinpoint performance bottlenecks and optimize them.

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Gatling is compatible with all operating systems. It features two executables – to record tests and to implement them. Once the load test is complete, a graphical test result is generated.

JMeter

JMeter is a popular tool designed to do load and performance testing. It can also be used to measure and analyze the performance of different software, servers and networks. It is often used as a website load testing tool for web service applications.

Since it is a Java platform app, JMeter can easily be integrated with the test plan. Also, it allows you to perform functional testing. It supports HTTP/S, SOAP, and FTP protocols.

WebLOAD

WebLOAD can generate reliable and real-life load scenarios. It features smart analytics that can give in-depth performance insights.

Moreover, WebLOAD integrates with tools like Jenkins and Selenium for simpler monitoring. It also has built-in support enterprise applications to web protocols.

LoadView

LoadView is another widely used automated performance testing platform because it is quite different from other tools. For instance, the testing is performed in real browsers. Thus, it generates results that are not only very accurate but are also close emulation of virtual users.

LoadView is cloud-based and can readily be deployed in minutes. It also allows producing multi-step load testing scripts that simulate user interaction within your website or application.

StresStimulus

When it comes to handling scenarios that are quite difficult to test, StresStimulus is a reliable load testing tool. It has an autocorrelation feature that can automatically fix playback errors. It also records user actions before playing them back to emulate the fluctuating usage patterns.

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StresStimulus monitors load impact on the responsiveness of the server infrastructure and software. Most importantly, it can uncover hidden concurrency errors and generate comprehensive performance metrics.

Performance or load testing is crucial in software engineering. It ensures that your product is high quality before putting it on the market. It protects the investors from getting poor-quality products and ensures customer satisfaction.

When it comes to selecting the best load testing tools, consider several factors. These include the tool’s software and hardware requirements, licensing cost, and protocol support. Since no single testing tool can meet all your requirements. You might need to employ multiple tools to make sure that your product is tested comprehensively. Choose top performance testing tools to ensure detailed and accurate results. 

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